Recently, my husband went out of town for a few days and I decided to have a dinner party for five friends collected from different corners of my life: sister, college roommate, high school friend and former teaching colleagues. They didn't really know each other well: they'd bumped at weddings and showers, but this was the First Official Meeting. And we all had a blast. (Helped immensely by foods that contained way too much butter and cheese.)
We had appetizers first. What is not to love about hot artichoke cheese dip? There is a reason that it keeps Friday's Restaurant in business.
Next we moved to the dining room. Table pulled out with extensions just like it was Christmas or Thanksgiving. (The only two times a year all the leaves are added.) As M said, "We work so hard to make our homes nice. And then we meet friends at restaurants!"Obviously, time to do this more often.
And time to pull out all the stops. Field green salad with sugared pecans, cranraisins, orange slices and feta cheese and a Raspberry Vinaigrette, served with a recipe for Green Pasture's famous cheese crackers. Chicken breasts stuffed with crab meat covered with a wine and mushroom sauce. Wild rice pilaf and fresh vegetables.Desert of warm iced sheet cake and homemade vanilla ice cream.
Coffee outside on the first cool autumn evening in the Austin area. Decaf coffee and afghans for all by the firepit. A firepit I've owned for 6 years and never used before. A good time was had by all. Actually, a GREAT time was had by all.
Why don't we do these things more often? We could order pizza with the same great fellowship. Heck, I'd even serve it on the good china.
I remember when my grandmother passed away and we were cleaning out her home. She had been given some fine goblets for wedding gifts in 1935. When she moved into town in 1961, she carefully wrapped the unused goblets in newspaper, and stored them for a "special occasion". The glasses were still in the brittle 1961 newspaper when we unwrapped them in 2001.
I don't want to be guilty again of saving things for a "special occasion". What could be more special than today?